Mosaic artist Mitzi Hall of Irwin turned down what probably would have been the biggest commission of her career in favor of keeping her creative freedom.
A restaurateur in Arizona had seen an image of one of Hall’s mosaic-inlaid guitars online and asked if she could make one for him.
“He started sending sketches of what he wanted me to do,” said Hall, a lifelong Irwin resident. “He’s sending pictures of butterflies and bees, and I’m saying,’ ick.’ Then he said he had 57 restaurants and he wanted one for every restaurant.
“I thought about it for a skinny minute, and then said I can’t do that.”
Her first objection was the untold hours it would take to crank out the 57 time-consuming mosaics.
“I’m only one person. I can’t do production work,” she said.
Then, she didn’t want to dedicate untold hours to working without a break on one project — and being told what to do in the process.
“I always have multiple projects going on. I work on what I want to work on,” she said. “If I don’t have the energy to work on something, I just don’t do it. I do something else.
“I like to give 110% of myself to my work, and I think it’s only fair to my consumer that I give them my absolute best.”
Hall has been making her one-of-a-kind mosaics for about 15 years. She had some prior experience in making stained glass pieces, but trained herself by trial and error in the art of crafting mosaics.
She’ll turn just about anything into a mosaic — a musical instrument, a mannequin, shoes, a picture frame, a flat board cut into the shape of a heart or a hand.
Three of her glass-shard-covered violins are showing in “Chasing the Sun,”